No Update on Online Maryland Sports Betting from Lottery & Gaming Meeting

No Update on Online Maryland Sports Betting from Lottery & Gaming Meeting
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by BetMaryland.com Staff

Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission provided no new information on the progression of online Maryland sports betting

James Logue, managing director of gaming for the commission, did provide two important property updates, both of which were approved. 

Hollywood Casino Perryville is expanding its sports wagering offering and was approved for a 1,081-square-foot sportsbook. Renovation of the current Green Turtle bar and restaurant would be turned into a Barstool retail sportsbook and restaurant. The sportsbook would have four wagering windows and eight self-service kiosks. 

MGM National Harbor is seeking an expansion of its indoor and outdoor gaming spaces. The outdoor gaming expansion would add an additional 41 VLTs and would be completed by October of this year. Its indoor gaming floor is seeking an expansion and an increase of 171 VLTs with a March 2023 completion. Once both are completed, the casino would see an increase of 242 VLTs. The first legal sports bet in Maryland was placed in December at MGM National Harbor.

Maryland Casino Operator Reports

Six casino operators gave monthly reports on each of their properties. 

Highlights included: 

  • Ocean Downs Casino: Gaming revenue was up 7.1% last month. Its sports betting handle was $1.1 million for April, with the sportsbook seeing a very healthy hold percentage. Its live harness racing meet starts Sunday, moving up this year from previous starts in June.
  • Live! Casino: Total gaming revenue saw a 12.1% increase compared to last year. Its sportsbook handle was $13.2 million, and it showed its second highest revenue month since opening the sportsbook.
  • Horseshoe Casino: Sports revenue posted at $540,000 and continues to have a high hold. “We are learning every month on the operation of sports wagering on property and are looking forward to football season with the close proximity to M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens,” Randy Conroy, vice president and general manager at Horseshoe, said during the meeting.

Retail Sports Betting Down in April

Not unexpectedly, retail sports betting at the five sportsbooks in the state was down 13.3% for April.

The April handle was about $26.9 million, compared to the $31 million wagered in March. 

Most states reported decreases in April after March Madness ended. The sports betting landscape gets much smaller after the NCAA tournament. 

When Will Online Launch?

Although there had been some hope online would launch by the start of the NFL season, that optimism dwindles with each meeting of the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Commission or the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.

Since retail sports betting went live in December, just five retail sites have launched, with four others working to that end. 

SWARC is waiting on the results of a diversity study before taking its next steps in regard to online sports betting. 

The next monthly meeting of the commission will be June 23.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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